Search Engine Land published a helpful post that answers some questions about the "future" of link building. Many attorneys (and some SEO teams) don't know (or forget) that good content is more important that links.
Some still fail to appreciate that Google algorithms are immensely smarter now than they were in the past. It is simply impossible (or will be soon) to "outsmart" the system with tricks or gimmicks. There is no unique way to game the process with linking schemes.
Instead, as the Google team has said all along, the best strategy is to create, good, interesting, well-written, useful content. Thats it. No games or gimmicks.
The improvement in Google's technology makes it more and more likely that their search ranking will reflect their will to encourage the addition of more useful content to the internet. It is wise to start now will more quality content that focuses on useful (as opposed to random linking schemes).
Be Cognizant of Keyword Phrases
No basic blogging guide would be complete without a mention of keyword phrases. At the end of the day using appropriate keywords to boost the search engine potential of the firm’s main website is one of the most important benefits that a blog can provide for a law practice. The basic idea of blogs and keywords is simple:
1) Identify the phrases that a potential client would enter into a search engine to look for the services you provide.
2) Use those phrases in each blog post
3) Link those phrases to set point on the main firm website
There are other keyword issues to consider, such as how many keyword phrases to put into each post, where to locate them, what pages to link them to, and similar details. Check out the forthcoming book The Definitive Guide to Legal Blogging for a more in-depth discussion of these issues. Or, you can send us a message and our legal blog writing team can help out.
Remember to Geographically Focus
The best blogs for marketing purposes are niche blogs. This is true no matter what the topic matter. Whether one is trying to sell soccer balls or legal services, it is important to remember who your clients are and what they care about. This doesn’t mean every theoretical client, but the most likely clients. In practical terms, geography plays a huge role in narrowing the scope.
All blog posts should be tailored to your geographic area both topically and keyword-wise. In other words, write on stories as they come up in your specific part of the world and use keyword phrases in those posts that include a linked geographic term.
Remember to Topically Focus
Not only should blog post topics and keywords be based on a single geographic region, entire blogs need to be tailored for a single practice area. In other words, it is very difficult see results when a blog include stories about every practice area imaginable, from auto accidents and medical malpractice to nursing home abuse and criminal defense. The narrower the blog subject matter, the better.
Obviously many firms, particularly personal injury firms, take a wide range of cases. For that reason, it is always ideal for these firms to use several blogs each with a specific focus. It is not at all uncommon for a mid-size firm to have six to seven entirely different blogs, each focused exclusively on a particular practice area.
The only way to truly become a smart niche blogger is by combining this rule (focus on one practice area) with a focus on one geographic area.
Legal Content Writers, Legal Ghost Writers, Legal Blog Writers -- We Have Been Called Many Things, But Here is Where We Are Coming From...
Of course before you should listen to anything we have to say, we should tell you where we are coming from. Unlike most legal marketing firms, we are comprised entirely of those who have experience actually practicing law. Each of our team members were lawyers before ever venturing onto the other side to began working in legal marketing.
Don’t get us wrong, we love the flashy marketing talk as much as the next marketing team. All of us are fully steeped in the marketing lingo expounding the latest and greatest ways to blow the competition out of the water and woo those in need of legal services.
But, at the end of the day, we reject the ways that many marketing teams try to oversell projects to law firms. This is especially true when it comes to online marketing. The combination of unique targeting and often confusing optimization tools are ripe for abuse. By making systems sound complex and promising the moon, many of the biggest legal marketing firms make vast sums of money selling marketing plans that produce little return. Solos, small, and mid-size firms are the ones who most often fall victim to these expensive marketing sales pitches.
We know because when we were on the other side we fell for our share of unnecessary schemes as well.
Blogging, however, is no scheme or unnecessary sales pitch item. In fact, if you do a quick survey of the cherished principles of virtually all legal marketing gurus, they each will have said a kind word or three about blogging. That is because it is the centerpiece of all online marketing plans. Blogs are where firms and individual attorneys share their expertise, connect with their particular community, and highlight their personal interests both within the legal world and outside it. Of course, the blog also acts as the centerpiece of website search engine optimization efforts.
In other words, unlike so many online marketing gimmicks, blogs work.
Yet, merely creating a blog is insufficient, because there is a world of difference between the best blogs and the worst.
That is where we come in. Our entire team works full time figuring out the difference between high performing and low performing blogs. We then help do the heavy lifting to find, create, and edit the content to make the blogs work. Over the years we have gotten pretty good at honing in on best practices. We are quite proud that one of the blogs that we write was named the Top Tort Blog of 2011 according by LexisNexis. While these contests are undoubtedly subjective, we appreciate the acknowledgement of quality from our fellow legal blog practitioners.